March 1998 MDRA Meeting: Approx. 100 people in attendance.
Speaker: Kit McNear
Subject: Fishing Halibut in SM Bay.
By: Keith Lambert
There was to much information to do a write up of it all. (I donít do shorthand) So I will recap the highlights. Starting with "SM Bay is a big fish trap." The fishing is great since the nets are now gone.
Use a balanced Rod and reel. A rod should have a good bend and be parabolic. Spool up with fresh line regularly and use 10-12-15 pound test line. 15 pound line maximum. Keep in mind that Halibut have good eyesight and are line shy. As the diameter of the line goes up the likelihood of getting a bite goes down. Also donít use the "High Vis" lines out. Pick a low in the water option like dark green, blue or brown. Highly recommends Ande Premium Green. The most important thing on the reel is the drags. Pick a good size real as the drags have more area than a smaller one. Make sure that they are working smoothly! A rod tip should not jerk as line is pulled off the reel. The rod length does not matter as you are not casting. Just drop the bait to the bottom.
Kit likes to fish like Tony Pena, a egg sinker above the swivel to 18 to 24 inches of leader. Using just enough weight based on depth and drift to hold the bottom. Shorten the leader if drifting fast or deep. Stock up on the 1/8 to 2 oz. egg sinkers. Use your regular line for the leader. Donít use spectra as you want the stretch in the line. The knot he likes is the Trileen knot and the palomar
The fish are biting best on the incoming tide or just after a high tide. That is if there is a good swing. I. E. Before a full moon. The fish will not be as active if the tide change is minimal.
When halibut fishing let the line slide thru the sinker when a halibut picks up your bait. Let the line go out with "no resistance." Or as little as possible. Do not "set the hook" with a big swing. Let the hook do itís job. But do make sure it is very sharp as halibut do have bony mouth. Use fine wire hooks. Kit recommends the Eagle Claw L118. A treble hook works ok in smaller baits. But he does not like to use them as they pick up snags and no fish will hit a bait with a string of grass hanging from it.
Four levels of desirability. From most favorable to least favorable are...
(clip a tail to slow it down)
But the biggest halibut will suck down the lowliest little sardine if your bait is presented to him and he is active. Hook the bait sideways across the eyes is the best but if in a fast drift hook your bait up through the mouth.
Surprisingly few people do this. But trolling with a down rigger is deadly. One hot spot where this is extremely successful is Trancus beach. Troll a 8# down rigger and then a looong way back troll a deep diving big lip lure in gold or silver. The Big front lip will give it plenty of action and the gold lure will look like a queenfish.
The most deadly method of filling your limit with halibut is ... (You should have been there to get this hot info. Ok, Allen says I should share)
Using a clear with heavy gold flake scampi Kit would cut most the body off. Then using a hearing or queenfish pin it up thru the bottom lip. The tails of the scampi will flutter next to the pectoral fins of the fish. This bait/lure combo will be deadly when dragged along the bottom
Remember donít set the hook hard. Just put it in gear and keep firm tension all the way to the boat.
You really should have been there for this as Kit went down the map a talked about the may spots in detail. But here is a few of them. Deep Hole in 60 to 70 feet; Trancus beach; Big Kelp Reef; Malibu pier area; Artificial reef near carbon Cyn.; So of Sealion in 20' to 30' (aka Dukes rest.); MDR artificial reefs (see books for locations); LAX twin roads; Hermosa; Star of Scotland; and donít forget twin towers in 60'.
Kit received a big round of applause and was presented with an award form the anglers for his presentation.
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